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HTLV-III/LAV antibody and immune status of household contacts and sexual partners of persons with hemophilia


We evaluated the human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV) antibody and immune status of 88 persons living with and/or sexual partners of 43 hemophiliacs, 12 of whom had AIDS, five of whom had AIDS-related complex (ARC), 17 of whom were clinically well but HTLV-III/LAV antibody positive, and nine of whom were well and HTLV-III/LAV antibody negative. No nonhemophilic household contacts (0/50) of healthy hemophiliacs were HTLV-III/LAV antibody positive; two of 33 nonhemophilic AIDS/ARC contacts were positive. One was a spouse and one a sexual partner of a hemophiliac. One of these antibody-positive contacts herself had AIDS, and one had ARC. Antibody-negative, nonhemophilic contacts of AIDS/ARC and of antibody-positive hemophiliacs had significantly lower numbers of lymphocytes, T helper lymphocytes, and T suppressor lymphocytes than did contacts of antibody-negative hemophiliacs. We conclude that risk of HTLV-III/LAV transmission may exist for spouses and/or sexual contacts of hemophiliacs with AIDS/ARC, but we cannot now determine the risk for contacts of asymptomatic hemophiliacs.

Jason JM, McDougal JS, Dixon G, Lawrence DN, Kennedy MS, Hilgartner M, Aledort L, Evatt BL

JAMA 1986 Jan;255(2):212-5

PMID: 3001375